Signs Your Pet Has Asthma: What You Should Do


Asthma isn’t just a human condition; our pets can suffer from it too. Recognizing the signs early can make a significant difference in managing this respiratory issue effectively. In this blog, we’ll explore the common symptoms of asthma in pets, how it can affect their health, and the steps you should take if you suspect your pet has asthma. If you’re concerned about your pet’s breathing or health, always consult a veterinarian. For immediate concerns in Greensboro, North Carolina, contact Happy Tails Emergency Veterinary Clinic at (336) 288-2688.

Understanding Pet Asthma

Asthma in pets, often referred to as allergic bronchitis, is a condition that can affect both cats and dogs, although it is more prevalent in cats. This respiratory problem is usually triggered by allergens in the environment that cause inflammation and constriction of the small airways in the lungs. 

Common Triggers of Asthma in Pets

Pets can react to a variety of environmental factors. Common triggers include: 

  • Cigarette smoke 
  • Dust mites 
  • Pollen 
  • Mold 

Identifying these triggers is a crucial step in managing your pet’s asthma because it can help reduce episodes by avoiding exposure to these irritants.

Symptoms of Asthma in Pets

The signs of asthma in pets can vary but typically include difficulties in breathing that may appear as wheezing or panting. A key symptom to watch for is a persistent cough that often sounds like a wheeze; it may become more pronounced after exercise or during sleep.

Recognizing a Severe Asthma Attack

During a severe asthma attack, your pet may exhibit extreme distress, such as open-mouth breathing and a rapid or shallow breathing pattern. Their gums might also appear blue or pale, which indicates a dangerous lack of oxygen.

Diagnosing Asthma in Pets

If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned, it’s essential to visit a veterinarian as soon as possible. Diagnosing asthma generally involves a thorough physical examination, review of the pet’s medical history, and may include chest X-rays or specific breathing tests to assess lung health and rule out other respiratory conditions. Diagnostic tests, such as bronchoscopy or airway sampling, might be recommended by your veterinarian to determine the severity of the asthma and to plan an effective treatment strategy.

Treatment Options for Pet Asthma

While there is no cure for asthma, the condition can often be managed with medications that may include corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and bronchodilators to help open the airways. In some cases, lifestyle changes can also help manage symptoms, such as reducing stress and maintaining a dust-free environment.

Importance of Ongoing Management

Regular follow-ups with a veterinarian are crucial to monitor the condition and adjust treatment as necessary. This ongoing management helps prevent severe asthma attacks and maintains a good quality of life for your pet.

When to Seek Emergency Care

If your pet is showing signs of a severe asthma attack, such as persistent coughing, inability to breathe, or blue-tinged gums, it’s crucial to seek immediate veterinary care. Remember, an asthma attack can escalate quickly and may become life-threatening. If you’re in Greensboro, North Carolina, you can reach Happy Tails Emergency Veterinary of Greensboro at (336) 288-2688. Quick response to asthma symptoms can save your pet’s life.

Caring for Your Pet’s Asthma

By understanding the signs your pet has asthma and knowing what steps to take, you can help manage your pet’s condition effectively. Always remember that regular veterinary visits are key to keeping your pet healthy. If you suspect your pet has asthma, schedule an appointment with your vet right away to discuss the best care options for your beloved pet.

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About Us

At Happy Tails Veterinary Emergency Clinic in Greensboro, NC, our kind and knowledgeable team is available to provide gold standard emergency vet care for you and your pet. We’re available in the late night and early morning hours during the week, and 24/7 on weekends for your convenience.